Selling England By The Pound - Genesis

reviewed by Kthar | Sunday, August 17 2008 @ 00:02:00 GMT        

Cover art

Selling England By The Pound

Release date: 12 October 1973
Length: 53:21
Genre: Progressive rock

Tracklist
  1. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
  2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
  3. Firth of Fifth
  4. More Fool Me
  5. The Battle of Epping Forest
  6. After the Ordeal
  7. The Cinema Show
  8. Aisle of Plenty
11/10
Kthar®
Reviews » Music

Your rating: [n/a]
Electron asked me once to write a review for his site so I guess it was about time I did it. I actually found it very hard to find an artist whose album I listened in its entirety hence I was compelled to write a Genesis review. The album in question is my favourite, Selling England By The Pound. Selling England By The Pound is the fifth album by Genesis, a british band consisting, at the time, of Peter Gabriel on vocals and flute, Steven Hackett on guitars, Phil Collins on drums and back vocals, Michael Rutherford on rhytm and bass guitars and Tony Banks on keyboards. Following the phenomenal success of the previous two albums, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot, it is one of the most important and most influential album in the history of progressive rock.

The first track, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight which is my favourite of all Genesis songs, opens the album beginning only with Peter Gabriel's voice and then other instruments come in crescending into an overwhelming, powerful chorus and a couple of short solos on guitar and keyboards before reaching a lulling end brought by Gabriel's soothing flute. I Know What I Want (In Your Wardrobe) happens to be the most successful song, in the commercial sense (reached top 10 or 20 on Billboard, a chart you don't want to use as a reference if you want to hear good music today) in the so called "Peter Gabriel era" of Genesis. Tony Banks' amazing keyboard skills are displayed in their entire splendour on the third track, Firth of Fifth. A very interesting track which also features an interesting solo by Steven Hackett on the guitar. On More Fool Me, Phil Collins takes up the role of the lead vocals after which follows The Battle Of Epping Forest, a track with really long lyrics and great music but, to tell you the truth, it's been a while since I heard it last, but that doesn't mean the song isn't worth listening to, just the contrary, every song on this album is a little masterpiece, I just sometimes lack thought to say something about absolutely every song. After The Ordeal is a beautiful 4 and something minutes long instrumental track. Another jewel of progressive rock comes with the seventh track called The Cinema Show. Lasting over ten minutes, it's the second longest track on the album with beautiful lyrics of modern Romeo and Juliette and something else. Actually, the lyrics on the album are some sort of a critique of the English way of life at the time, a critique of the contemporary money-spending culture going after discounts and useless merchandise. That point is, probably, most clearly expressed in the final song of the album, Aisle Of Plenty, where Peter Gabriel makes some very straight-forward references to the most popular stores or supermarkets in England at the time. Also, the music in the song is the same as at the beginning of the first song, thus creating a sort of a closed cicle composition of the album.

The history of progressive rock probably begins and reaches its maximum with Genesis in the "Peter Gabriel era" (he later left the band and Genesis became a pop-rock band achieving massive success and selling over 150 million albums, a feature reached by only a few artists more and surpassed by even fewer) and Selling England By The Pound is probably the pinnacle of their creativity and genius and one of, in my opinion, best pieces of music in the entire history of music. Do I really need to say any more?

C'est ça.

Thanks to Kthar for writing this review!
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